Sexual Harassment - Student Policy

  • STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
    (Prohibited by Law and by Visalia Unified School District’s Board Policy 5145.7)

    The Board of Education will not tolerate sexual harassment and will make efforts to maintain schools free from sexual harassment.  It is the Board of Education's intent to maintain an academic and work environment that protects the dignity and promotes the mutual respect of all employees and pupils.

    BOARD POLICY 5145.7 STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    1. Prohibits sexual harassment of any student by any employee, student, or other person in, or from the District.
    2. Expects students or staff to immediately report incidents of sexual harassment to a site administrator or to another District administrator.
    3. Each site administrator has the responsibility of maintaining an educational and work environment free of sexual harassment.
    4. Each sexual harassment complaint shall be promptly investigated in a way designed to respect the privacy of all parties concerned.  This responsibility includes discussing this policy with his/her students and employees and assuring them that they NEED NOT endure sexually insulting, degrading, or exploitative treatment or any other form of sexual harassment.

     

    WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
    "Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, made by someone from, or in, the work or educational setting under any of the following conditions:

    1. When submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's employment, academic status, or progress.
    2. When submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of academic decisions affecting the individual.
    3. When the conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual's work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.
    4. When submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs or activities available at, or through, the educational institution.

     

    EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
    Sexual harassment may occur as a pattern of degrading sexual speech or action ranging from verbal or physical annoyances or distractions to deliberate intimidations and frank threats or sexual demands.  Such conduct may constitute sexual harassment.

    Forms of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. Verbal Harassment - Derogatory comments, jokes, or slurs; graphic verbal abuse of a sexual nature; comments about an individual's body/dress, sexual preferences or sexual conduct; sexually degrading words used to demean, label, or describe an individual; or, spreading sexual rumors.
    2. Physical Harassment - Unnecessary or offensive touching, or impeding or blocking movement.
    3. Visual Harassment - Derogatory or offensive posters, cards, cartoons, graffiti, drawings, or gestures; suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations; the display in the educational environment of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
    4. Sexual Favors - Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions.


    RETALIATION

    The District prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant as a result of a negative response to sexual advances or the making of an informal or formal complaint alleging sexual harassment.


    CONSEQUENCES FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    Any student who engages in sexual harassment is subject to disciplinary action according to Board Policy 5145.7, Student Conduct Code, K-6 and Board Policy 5145.7, Student Conduct Code, 7-12 and in accordance with the Education Code.  (Employees are subject to disciplinary action according to Board policies and in accordance with the Education Code.)


    GRIEVANCE (COMPLAINT) PROCEDURES

    Any student who feels that he/she is being sexually harassed should immediately contact a school site or District administrator.

    Staff members who receive complaints of sexual harassment from students should refer such complaints to the site or other District administrator.

    If the site or District administrator is notified that an allegation of sexual harassment was not addressed to the complainant's satisfaction, that administrator should provide the student and/or the student's parent/guardian with a copy of the District's sexual harassment policy and grievance (complaint) procedures.

    Nothing in the District's grievance (complaint) procedures shall affect the right of the complainant to pursue the matter with any state of federal enforcement agency.

    The District prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process.


    TITLE IX COORDINATOR FOR STUDENT-TO-STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    The Area Superintendent of Educational Opportunities/CTE is the Title IX Coordinator for student-to-student sexual harassment and is designated by the District to receive and process complaints under this procedure.


    TITLE IX COORDINATOR FOR STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS INVOLVING EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT

    The Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Development is the Title IX Coordinator for any student sexual harassment complaints involving employees of the District.

    NON-DISCRIMINATION
    (42 U.S.C. Sections 2000 et seq., 6707) (20 U.S.C. Sections 1681 et. seq.)

    The Visalia Unified School District has a policy that all programs and activities shall be free from discrimination or harassment with respect to ethnic group, religion, gender, color, race, national origin and physical or mental ability, including eligibility under Section 504 of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    Any individual who believes that his or her rights are being violated or that he or she is being discriminated against, should immediately contact the principal or designee.  If the situation is not promptly remedied at the site level, a complaint can be filed in accordance with administrative regulations by contacting the Area Superintendent of Educational Opportunities/CTE at 5000 W. Cypress Ave., Visalia, CA. 93277 or (559) 730-7515.